Twenty flatmates you’ll come across at university, and what to do about them

IT’S GETTING to that time of year again – the air is getting cold, you’re searching for that perfect deal, and you need to find a roof to put over your head for next year. But one thing you’ll definitely need to consider, be it private or uni res that you’re moving into, is who you’re going to live with. Here are the personality types to look out for, and whether you should move in with them, or avoid at all costs.

flatmates1) The personal chef.

This is the housemate who can cook – and well. They’re willing to cook for you, if you’re willing to chip in for ingredients. More importantly, they’ll keep in mind all the things you don’t like in food, and only use them if you really annoy them. If you live off of ready-meals and instant noodles, this person could be a life saver in the long run – just make sure to stay in their good books.

We say: Move in, but at the very least keep the kitchen stocked with the basics.

2) The slob.

All flatmates and students will have their moments of letting a cup of tea go mouldy, but at least most of them keep it in their room. The true slob, however, is the one to really look out for, but they won’t be hard to spot. Dirty dishes in the living room, used underwear in the bathroom, and bags of rubbish left in the corridors for weeks on end. Piles of clothes, overflowing bins and crusty sinks are the least to expect.

We say: Avoid, but if you’re truly desperate we suggest investing in a decent pair of rubber gloves.

3) The neat freak.

Like the slob, the neat freak will be pretty easy to spot; a shelf full of cleaning products in their room, a nervous twitch at the sight of more than two dirty dishes; and their sock drawer organised from oldest to newest, by colour. Although it’s great having someone willing to clean up your towering mountain of plates from the beginning of the term, don’t push them too far.

We say: Move in, but if you’re the slob, then maybe not.

4) The chauffeur.

The chauffeur only has two qualifying factors: having a car; and being able to drive said car. Whether you live on campus or in town, having someone who can drive makes life so much easier, especially when it comes to those early morning exams in Llanbadarn. As long as you follow any rules they put in place for their car,and chip in for petrol, you can persuade then to drive you just about anywhere in town.

We say: Move in, but make sure they aren’t ripping you off for “petrol money”.

5) The psycho.

The psycho is probably the hardest to spot, but are easily the most important to avoid. From playing a song on repeat at three in the morning, to banging the door down with an axe, there are varying levels of psychotic behaviour your housemates can show. However, it’s pretty safe to say that you don’t want to come home from a night out to a crazed lunatic… or take one out with you, either.

We say: Avoid, just avoid. But nothing.

6) The ‘Richie Rich’.

This lucky student has it all – laptop, computer, tablet, camera, iPod, sound system, and anything else that takes their fancy. They don’t always seem to understand the concept of budgeting, which is good news for you, as they’ll often cover your oversights. Just make sure they’re on good terms with mother and father, should their overdraft run out.

We say: Move in, but don’t make your money-grabbing too obvious.

7) The Broke Betty.

They think they can budget – they start off each month with a new plan, but inevitably they fall short by the end of the second week. Often found muttering in the corner of the room clutching their last pennies, the Broke Betty is the extreme version of the majority of the student population, but nine times out of ten they do mean well.

We say: Avoid, but occasionally they are willing to pay off their debts with favours.

8) The alcoholic.

Coming home so drunk that you have to help them to bed, and with enough empty beer cans and bottles to build a “monumenté du beveráge”, at the very least the alcoholic is entertaining. They’ll always know the cheapest places in town and the places to avoid, which is a great benefit to any student looking for a good night out on a budget.

We say: It’s up to you, but do you really want to clean up after them?

9) The teetotaler.

Basically, the reverse of the alcoholic, the teetotaler won’t touch a drop. Unfortunately, that does mean that they’ll remember everything that you do. They may get aggressive if you try to force them to drink, but they can still have a good time without inebriation. And remember – just because they don’t drink, doesn’t mean that they can’t be entertaining for you.

We say: Move in, but don’t expect them to be your drinking buddy any time soon.

10) The recluse.

Barely seen, the recluse is a quiet and private person. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t a fun person, it just means that they like their space and the best thing to do is respect that. More often than not, even if they aren’t the best at keeping contact on a day-to-day basis, they are extremely loyal. They’re also the one to look out for when playing Cards Against Humanity.

We say: Move in, but respect their space.

11) The night owl.

Similar to ‘the one you’ll never see’, you’ll only find this one eating a bowl of cereal at 6pm. They spend the night playing video games or binge-watching on Netflix, and call it a ‘day’ around 6am to snooze through the rest of the day. Their single 9am exam in January will be more painful for them than for anyone else.

We say: Move in, but don’t rely on them to wake you up for your 9am lecture – they’ll have slept through theirs too.

12) The couple.

Eyes are opened, and cynical minds formed when you live with a couple, as no experience can throw at you the highs and lows of late-teen/early-twenties relationships. You get to hear everything – from their loudest arguments, to their most intimate moments.

We say: Move in, but beware of being dragged into any arguments.

13) The FIFA boy(s).

Coming together in the living room around someone’s telly to watch and play a few rounds of FIFA is a unifying experience for many students, male and female. But the resounding cheers and shouts over animated footballers that echo throughout the flat for at least a couple of hours a day is a sound you won’t forget.

We say: Move in, they’re always good fun – just don’t let them get too competitive.

14) The deep house enthusiast.

Enjoys student union events, usually has some variation of deep house or drum and bass pounding from their room. They also insist on controlling the music at pre-drinks and consider Black House to be a legitimate music event.

We say: Move in, but lay down the law early about loud music if it bothers you.

15) The North/South extremists.

For some people there’s a North-South line and it’s important. It’s so important, that if you question the ‘North’-ness or ‘South’-ness of a town or county or pebble on the side of the road you can expect passionate and aggressive retaliations. These people will also be especially proud of which side of this border they’re from and will put all their actions, words and instincts down to this heritage.

We say: Move in – unless you’re from the Midlands.

16) The ‘Pass-Ag’.

If you’ve never had a note slid under your door or stuck to the fridge about the amount of dishes or lack of toilet roll, then you’ve never lived in university halls. The ‘note’ in itself is passive-aggressive (‘pass-ag’) enough, but it will often be polite, girly and possibly even with kisses at the end. At the end of the day though they’re too British, or too smug, to tell you to clean up in any other way.

We say: Move in, but try not to get into too many ‘note wars’.

17) The thief.

The occasional missing glug of milk or slice of bread is expected in a shared living situation. But soon pizza slices, hunks of cheese and entire chicken breasts go missing. It’s usually when ‘the vegetarian’ (a flatmate not on this list, but you’ll still come across them) finds their last Quorn sausage stolen that a full investigation kicks off. More pass-ag notes will follow.

We say: Avoid, unless you want to end up paying for twice the food you eat, and never see it.

18) The home body.

Rather like the one you’ll never see, the homebody is both unwilling and incapable of being away from home. They make the trip back to “the shire” as they so lovingly and inventively call it on a weekly basis, and when they are in halls coping without someone to wash up and cook for them is near impossible.

We say: Move in, they’ll save you money on bills by never being there. Just don’t bother trying to make plans with them for the weekend.

19) The stoner.

When you walk past their room you’ll always get a strong waft of that noticeable smell. They’ve always got a good supply of junk food though, and they’ll always find your jokes funny.

We say: It’s up to you, but do you really want to risk not getting your deposit back?

20) The workaholic.

They’ll be in the library before you’ve even crawled out of bed, and come back long after dark. They make you feel useless with their complaining about how they think they did terribly when you KNOW they did amazingly. They also always manage to have enough time for a night out when the rest of you are slaving away over an essay that’s due tomorrow – because they finished it last week.

We say: Move in if you’re a hard worker too, but if not then avoid – they’ll just make you feel bad.